Tuzla Halal Travel Guide
Tuzla is the third largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in one of the most important industrial Bosnian regions. The city was hardly directly targeted by the war, except for an incident near the end of the war, when 72 people were killed by a shell fired into the Old Town during the evening. Nowadays, the city’s economy is still predominantly based around industry, although there has been significant development in tourism in the 21st century.
Travelling to Tuzla is easy from the south, less so from the Republika Srpska or Serbia. Do not trust the bus timetable on the black board in the main bus station, as these times were universally inaccurate!
- Tuzla bus station (Autobuska stanica Tuzla), Bosne Srebrene 60. There is a kiosk, ticket office and toilette inside station. Always ask in ticket counter/information for current schedule. Timetable inside bus station doesn’t cover all connections and it is not always up-to date.
There are many buses (first Monday to Friday at 09:30, Sa Su at 10:00, last at 18:50 – 1-2 per hour) from Sarajevo to Tuzla. Also there are buses (first at 04:00, last at 18:00- 1-2 per hour) from Tuzla to Sarajevo. One-way ticket costs 13-20 BAM (depends on bus company) and journey takes 3 hours.
There are three buses (04:45, 06:30, 16:00) from Mostar to Tuzla. Also there are buses (08:00, 09:30) from Tuzla to Mostar. One-way ticket costs approx. 36 BAM and journey takes 5½ hours.
There are two buses (06:30 and 13:30) from Osijek to Tuzla. Also there are buses (06:00 and 13:00) from Tuzla to Osijek. Journey takes 3½ hours. Schedule is available here.
There is one bus (07:00) from Split to Tuzla. Also there are buses (05:30 and 08:00) from Tuzla to Split. Schedule is available here. Journey takes 9 hours.
To travel from Banja Luka, change at Doboj. There are two daily services to Bjeljina, where there are connections to other destinations in RS such as Višegrad, as well as Serbia and Montenegro. There are direct buses from Belgrade. A journey takes four hours, running three times a day.
From or to Sarajevo, Croatia, Slovenia or Germany you can use the Salinea-bus company – not all buses are listed on that website.
Trains to Tuzla are slow and quite infrequent, extensive damage to rail infrastructure during the conflict in Bosnia and Hercegovina in the 1990s is mainly to blame but also financial constraints. However, the national operator ZFBH still manages to run trains from Doboj, where there are connections with Sarajevo.
- Tuzla railway station (Zeleznicka Stanica Tuzla), Bosne Srebrene.
- Tuzla International Airport (Međunarodni aerodrom Tuzla), Dubrave Gornje 75273. Tu Th Sa 03:30-23:00, M W Su 04:00-22:30. This airport is 11 km outside of city center. There are few rental companies (open from 06:00), exchange office (open from 06:00) and restaurant in main lobby of airport. Additionally there is a small bar and duty free shop (open from 06:00) in departures zone. Wizzair flies from here to Basel/Mulhouse (Switzerland/France), Dortmund (Germany), Eindhoven (the Netherlands), Gothenburg (Sweden), Frankfurt-Hahn (Germany), Malmö (Sweden), Memmingen (Germany), Nürnberg (Germany), Sandefjord-Torp (Norway), Stockholm-Skavsta (Sweden). There are 21 departures and 21s arrival every week.
- The easiest and quickest way to get to city center is by taxi. Taxis from airport to Tuzla city center costs 30 BAM. In opposite direction taxi costs 15-20 BAM.
- There is a public bus no. 11 operating almost every hour between Dubrave and Tuzla. Schedule is available here (page 31) . If you travelling from airport you can catch this bus on Dubrave Aerodrom bus stop (you have to walk 800 meters to main road and then turn right for another 200 meters). Bus shall be here approx. 31 minutes after departure from Kalesija – Povratak column in schedule. If you travelling to the airport the best option is to catch this bus in front of bus station on Medugradska Autobusna Stanica bus stop (bus shall be here approx. 22 minutes after departure from Tuzla AS “Istok” – Polazak column in schedule) or closer to city center on Higijena bus stop (bus shall be here approx. 17 minutes after departure from Tuzla AS “Istok” – Polazak column in schedule). Ticket from driver cost 2 BAM. Travel between Tuzla and airport takes approx. 30 minutes.
Bosnia has beautiful countryside. The best place to travel is to Osman’s old house. It is wonderful.
The first place to visit is the square at the center of the old town. This is the site of the Tuzla Massacre, where 72 young people were killed in 1995. Ask a local to translate the poem carved into the monument. Then walk over to the park where the 72 young people are buried. The old town is very nice and the park is very beautiful.
You should also visit the Pannonica Lakes, whose water is directly supplied from the local wells of salt water. Tuzla’s salt has been exploited for centuries and you should visit the Salt square dedicated to this aspect of Tuzla’s history.
If you are interested in art, visit some of Tuzla’s beautiful art galleries. If you are interested in history, you should see the model of ancient village set near the Pannonica.
- Museum of Eastern Bosnia (Muzej Istočne Bosne), Džindić mahala 21.
- Pannonica Lakes, Kulina bana. Good place for swimming and relaxing. Complex of three lakes, beaches, bars and areas for kids. 3.5 BAM (workdays), 4 BAM (weekend).
Locally produced wicker craft like baskets or furniture.
All the usual Bosnian dishes are available throughout the town, but international cuisine does not have a high presence. There are also many traditional Bosnian fast Halal food restaurants where you can eat cevapi prepared differently than in Sarajevo.
- Biblioteka 45, Kristijana Krekovića 7. Serving traditional Halal cuisine in a nice courtyard. €10.
Where to stay in Tuzla
- Hotel Tuzla, ZAVNOBiH-a 13.
- Hotel Dom penzionera, Filipa Kljajića 22.
- Motel Rudar, Mitra Trifunovića Uče 9.
- Pansion Nargalic, Turalibegova 40.
- Rooms Centre, Trg Stara Tržnica 8. 60 BAM incl TV/AC/Breakfast.
- Smještaj u Tuzli, Donji Mosnik, ☎ +387 61 704 997.30 BAM incl TV, AC, Transfer from airport.
Buses run very regularly to Lukavac, about 20 minutes away. From here, a ten minute taxi takes you to Lake Modrac, a large lake with a few restaurants. Due to industrial pollution, however, it is not safe to swim in the lake.
A more promising destination is Lake Bistarac. Take a local bus for Lukavac, and get off just before the town. Up a hill lies a clean freshwater lake. There is a minimal entry charge, with a small extra charge for use of the slide into the lake. Stalls and a restaurant serve food.
Kladanj, about 90 minutes away by bus towards Sarajevo, is a small, attractive town with many small restaurants, and small ski-resort nearby.
- Doboj renovated medieval fortress, about 1½ hours by train.